Big News at CHRP

Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) announced today they are establishing a Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development (CSSD) – a shared facility for education, rehearsal and administration of local arts organizations.  With financial support secured to the tune of over $500,000 from a number of foundations, the CSSD will fulfill a dream and fortify the mission of CHRP and its found Lane Alexander.  The space will house smaller/mid-sized arts organizations and allow them to pursue family-centric programming and focus on education and tuition-based programming.

CHRP Founder and Director Lane Alexander.Funders include:  The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Boeing Company, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the James S. Kemper Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, as well as pro bono support from and Jenner & Block LLPProTen Realty Group.  Collaborating resident companies will include:  Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Kalapriya – Center for Indian Performing Arts, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Ping Pong Productions and River North Dance Chicago.

CSSD is a working title, so once the project gets underway this may change.  When RB spoke to Alexander last summer he mentioned a different name.  “The American Rhythm Center is our plan to develop the first cultural center in the US dedicated to American tap and contemporary percussive arts and affiliated percussive dance like Irish, African, Indian Kathak, flamenco”, he said.  “We have what may be the first phase of the center, which is sort the capacity-building phase where we open a school and develop a large student base which will generate a revenue base that allows us to also start a capitol campaign and move on to the cultural center idea.”  Alexander was also appointed last week to the Arts and Culture transition team for Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel.  He was the only person appointed from the Chicago dance world.

Congratulations to Lane, CHRP, CSSD and all the organizations involved!  This is an important step in securing Chicago’s place as a worldwide destination for arts education.

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